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Royal College of Music (RCM)
London, United Kingdom (Outgoing Program)
Program Terms:
Program Terms: Fall Semester
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This program is currently not accepting applications.
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Partner Institution/Organization Homepage: Click to visit
Restrictions: Princeton applicants only
Budget Sheets Fall
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Dept Offering Program: Study Abroad OIP Program Type: Study Abroad (semester)
Language of Instruction: English Language Prerequisite: NO
Program Features: Academic Study Degree Level: 3 - Sophomore, 4 - Junior, 5 - Senior
Time Away: Fall Semester Housing options: Student responsibility
Program Group: Study Abroad OIP Program Adviser: Claire Hu
Program Description:
Program Description:


Please be reminded that this is a fall only program and you may need to meet different deadlines when applying to this program:

  • This program requires a nomination
  • Program deadline: Application deadlines, audition dates and the availability of RCM accompanists varies between locations.
  • Princeton deadline: April 30, 2020

Royal College of Music

Royal College of Music gives students the opportunity for professional training within an overall liberal arts framework, plus the experience of living in one of the world's most vibrant music capitals. Musically gifted students who want a strong academic experience and who are undecided about whether or not to enter the professional music world will find this program particularly useful.
Qualified students will be invited to audition in Princeton for the Royal College of Music in March of their sophomore year. If accepted, a student will then be a full-time student at RCM for the following semester, taking full range of study offered there. Subject to results of an examination at the end of the term, the student may then be granted early admission to the RCM master's program after graduation from Princeton, possibly for completion in an accelerated 12-month program.

This program provides the opportunity for professional training within overall liberal arts framework, plus the experience of Princeton's Study Abroad Program in the world's most vibrant music capital. Musically gifted students who want a strong academic experience and who are undecided about whether or not to enter the professional music world will find this program particularly useful-some time spent at an internationally renowned conservatory can answer many questions about life as a professional musician.

Princeton and RCM share the same educational goals, approached from different directions: both institutions are vitally concerned with helping develop the "informed" performer, one who has multiple skills to navigate successfully the rapidly changing present-day international musical culture.Over 125 years old, RCM trains gifted musicians from all over the world for international careers. Its professors are musicians with worldwide reputations. Regular visiting performers include Bernard Haitink, Vladimir Ashkenazy, Sir Roger Norrington, Barry Douglas, Peter Donohoe, and Sir Thomas Allen. RCM is located in the cultural heartland of London alongside the city's world-famous museums, next to Hyde Park and the Royal Albert Hall.

For a profile on the program, see London Calling: Journeys of musical discovery.

The University

With around 750 students from 64 countries studying at undergraduate, postgraduate, or doctoral level, the RCM is a community of talented and open-minded musicians where excellence, individuality, creativity, and diversity are prized. Through its teachers--distinguished musicians who perform, compose, write and research--an unparalleled range of artistic and commercial collaborations has been forged to ensure that RCM musicians connect effectively (and stay connected) with a fast-changing profession.

The Setting

RCM is located in the cultural heartland of London alongside the city's world-famous museums and next to Hyde Park and Royal Albert Hall in one of London’s most vibrant areas. Surrounding RCM on three sides is Imperial College London, making it part of one of the largest and most active student bodies in the city



Princeton students take four courses per semester, one each in Historical Studies and Aural in Professional Contexts, one elective in an area of interest, and a performance class in their area of musical specialization called their “Principal Study”. Each Principal Study program is arranged on an individual basis, according to instrumental and personal priorities of the student. It provides:
  • individual lessons on Principal Study
  • opportunities for involvement in orchestras, ensembles, choral groups and chamber music (according to Principal Study)
  • concerts, masterclasses, seminars and workshops
  • access to RCM resources (Library, RCM Museum of Music, Studios, Centre for Performance History, Centre for Performance Science, practice facilities)
In addition, all students must participate in at least two performance groups during their semester.

Review the Programme Structure for more information about academics at RCM.


For Princeton approval, participants must have at least a 3.0/ B average for the fall and spring semesters prior to the semester of study abroad.

Grading & Credits

For information regarding credits, grading, and other academic policies, read the Academic Policies on the Study Abroad website.

Academic Calendar

This program is offered for Princeton students in Fall Semester only. The Royal College of Music "Autumn Term" typically runs from mid-September to mid-December.

For precise program dates, visit the RCM term dates page online.


RCM is located in one of the more expensive areas of London, so most program participants end up renting shared flats (apartments) in neighborhoods further away. RCM operates a hall of residence, Prince Consort Village, but unfortunately it is not available for students attending RCM for only one semester. Because of this, students attending the Fall semester RCM program should plan on arranging their own housing in London.

After admission, RCM student services will give you various listings and websites that will allow you to begin the search for housing. It is highly recommended that you begin the search as soon as you know you have been admitted since the more reasonably priced or better located housing disappears quickly. Past participants in the program can also offer very helpful advice in this process. You can access RCM accommodation resources to search for housing online. For further details or advice, contact Student Services at

See below for tips from former students:

  • "I stayed in Lee Abbey London, which was just 20 minute-walk away from the school. It was nice to meet study abroad students from primarily all over Europe, but the facilities are not pristine. Most meals are provided-- not quite Princeton-level cuisine but it is a great convenience."
  • "I booked my housing early on, about 6 months before I was due to start my term in London. As London is a competitive real estate market, I would strongly recommend finding a place soon. I was fortunate in that I could walk to RCM (directly across Hyde Park from my apartment). If I had been commuting, I would have quickly grown tired of the constant delays and high prices of public transport in London. If you can find a place within walking distance of RCM at a reasonable price, book it."

Student Life

As you can imagine, student life revolves strongly around music and performance. RCM students participate in at least two musical groups during their semester and prepare for multiple performances. As students at RCM and in London, you can also attend a wide variety of events and experience world-class performances.

Princeton students have the same access to libraries, performance facilities, and student services as do regularly enrolled students.

Money Matters

Students who receive financial aid at Princeton continue to receive Princeton financial aid for the approved costs of study abroad programs during the academic year. For detailed information about financial aid, program fees, and billing for study abroad, please visit the Money Matters section of the Study Abroad website.
For estimated program costs, please click on the Budget Sheet at the top of this brochure.

Passport and Visa

Students are responsible for ensuring that their passports are valid for their entire stay in the United Kingdom. For further information on renewing or obtaining a U.S. passport, please consult the U.S. State Department passport website.

If you are studying in the UK for six months or less and do not plan to intern/work/volunteer while you are there, then you can enter as a student visitor. Non-visa nationals (which include U.S. citizens) do not need to apply for student visitor clearance before arriving in the U.K. They do, however, need to bring specific documents to show the entry clearance officer upon arrival. If you are not a U.S. citizen, you should check to see if you need to apply for student visitor clearance ahead of time. If you enter as a student visitor, you must leave at the end of six months.

If you are studying in the UK for more than six months or want to have the option to intern/work/ volunteer while you are there, then you need to get a Tier 4 Student Visa. This visa is complicated, and you will need to start the process six-eight weeks before you plan to leave for the UK. If applying from the U.S., you should first complete the visa application form online, make your payment, and then use the online booking system to schedule a convenient location and time to submit your biometric data. You will visit one of the 129 U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Centers, where they will scan your fingertips and take a digital photo. Once you have submitted your biometric data, you will send in your passport and documents by mail.

Application Process

To apply for the program, students must be music majors or get permission from their department to study music for fall of their junior year. Students should contact Michael Pratt directly to discuss their musical qualifications and to apply.

Students must also complete the Princeton Study Abroad Course Approval Form. This form is reviewed by the Committee on Examinations and Standing, which grants final approval to participate in the program. Students who meet the university eligibility requirements to study abroad and who have the support of their department are normally approved by the Committee.

Application deadline: Check the RCM website for application deadlines.  Please note that program application deadlines may be earlier than the Princeton approval deadlines.


Start planning your study abroad experience!

Testimonial: - unrelated header
What would you say to a student considering this study abroad program or study abroad in general?
The Royal College of Music is situated in London, which has an amazing cultural scene. There are so many ways to soak up the arts while living in this city. This study abroad opportunity is a great way to experience the European model of music school. 
     — Demi Fang, Fall Semester 2015
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Dates / Deadlines:
This program is not currently accepting applications. Please consult the sponsoring department's website for application open dates.
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This program is currently not accepting applications.